“Monterrey has been, and will continue to be, an important entrepreneurial community full of brave men and women that are dedicated to creating value.”

With these words, Rafael Gómez Nava, Dean of IPADE, welcomed attendees to the evening portion of the IPADE 50th anniversary celebrations in Monterrey, hosted at the ICON event space on May 24th.

Guests were welcomed by the sound of bells and a video mapping light display produced especially for the evening’s celebration of IPADE’s history. Special acknowledgement was extended to the students, alumni, business leaders, and faculty members that were in attendance at the event.

Following his words of welcome, Dean Gómez Nava shared some insights on the professionalization of management and the increased social responsibility of business leaders.

“Each businessperson has the capacity to convert opportunities into reality,” said Dean Gómez Nava. “They dedicate themselves to a new idea, get excited about it, risk everything, make mistakes, and, more often than not, reinvent themselves and start all over.”

Subsequently, Lorenzo Fernández Alonso, Director of the Monterrey campus, took the stage.

“The purpose of this commemorative event is to celebrate the tenacity of the business people that shaped Mexico. Those of us that live here in Monterrey can vouch for the extremely strong character of our local business community, whether it’s the smallest local business owner or the leader of a board meeting of a massive corporation.”

Many illustrious local business people have passed through IPADE’s classrooms, including Adán Adrián Sada Treviño, Bernardo Garza Sada, Eugenio Clariond, Federico Toussaint Elosúa, the Garza Laguëra brothers (Alejandro, Marcelo, and David), and many more.

Mr. Fernández Alonso then highlighted some of the most important moments in IPADE Monterrey’s history, including the official inauguration of the program at the Hotel Ambassador; the laying of the first stone of the current Full-time MBA program building by Monsignor Javier Echevarría, then prelate bishop of Opus Dei; and the launch of the AD-2, D-1, and other programs that are still imparted at the Monterrey campus to this day.

In closing, Mr. Fernández Alonso recognized the collaborators and companies that have been key to IPADE Monterrey’s growth, including Carlos Rossell, the campus’ first Director, and Alejandro Fernández Villa, who successfully led IPADE Monterrey for three decades.

“IPADE Monterrey seeks to serve, to act, to be a fountain of knowledge where Monterrey’s business people, entrepreneurs, and leaders can come to learn the best practices and tools they need to face the reality of an increasingly complex business world.”

Enrique Krauze, Editorial Director of Clío, then shared some anecdotes of his long and fruitful relationship with Gabriel Zaid.

“In addition to maintaining a literary friendship, Gabriel and I had a business friendship,” said Krauze. Although Mr. Zaid is most recognized for being an illustrious poet and writer, he was also a top-notch business consultant.

“Mr. Zaid said, ‘You’re young, eager, and enthusiastic,’” said Mr. Krauze, recounting how Mr. Zaid encouraged him to begin his own entrepreneurial venture. “First, I met the excellent business consultant, and only later did I get to know the incredible thinker, essayist, and poet that was Gabriel Zaid.”

Over the course of an hour, Mr. Krauze shared with the audience some of the highlights of Gabriel Zaid’s work, inviting the audience to engage more deeply with Mr. Zaid’s business writing.

Following Mr. Krauze’s presentation, Dr. Srikant Datar, a professor at Harvard Business School, took the stage to present the session “Economic Growth and Social Justice: A New Challenge for Business Leaders.” Dr. Datar is known for being an extremely innovative professor focused on issues such as design thinking, big data, and business strategy. The session focused on distribution of wealth and the impact of globalization. Dr. Datar also highlighted that the challenge for business leaders today is to reestablish trust between their company and their community.

Dr. Datar expressed his admiration for IPADE, and applauded its commitment to giving back to society.

“I am particularly excited to speak about social justice here at IPADE, considering the role that these values hold within the institution,” said Dr. Datar. “We must become leaders that are able to provide for others; we must develop humility in our actions, the courage to do what’s necessary, and the trust of our community. The decision to dream and to do is ours.”

The evening concluded with a performance of Mexican composer Dr. Samuel Zyman’s orchestral piece inspired by the daily responsibilities of a business leader. The piece, commissioned as part of IPADE’s anniversary celebrations, was performed by the Sinfónica del Noreste, under the baton of Maestro Guillermo Villarreal (a proud native of Monterrey).

The event in Monterrey was part of the 50th anniversary celebrations planned for the course of this year in various cities that have played a role in IPADE’s history. The final event will be held in Guadalajara, along with the first IPADE Alumni Global Gathering.